Morning links: Donovan Mitchell or Ben Simmons? Insiders weigh in on ROY race; Kyle Kuzma Q&A
At this point in the NBA season, it’s a two-man race for Rookie of the Year between the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
On Monday, a piece by Uproxx’s Oliver Maroney was published in which he asked a number of the league’s players, executives and others to share who they think should win the award.
Of the 22 people polled, 13 said Simmons should win it, seven went with Mitchell and two said the NBA should award co-Rookies of the Year.
“I think I would go Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons as Jason Kidd and Grant Hill once were, co-ROY,” said former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, who now is a host on SiriusXM. “Simmons had the benefit of a redshirt year and, at that age, getting NBA strength training and nutrition in addition to any skills development he got to do before the foot issue is just an enormous advantage.”
Added an unnamed executive: “If I were to give the award today, it would be tough not to do a co-ROY with these two. They’re both great in their own ways.”
Kyle Kuzma Q&A
Another rookie with local connections, former University of Utah forward Kyle Kuzma, has fallen off the pace for Rookie of the Year after a strong start, but is still having a nice season for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before he was implicated in a report concerning the FBI’s probe into NCAA basketball last Friday, Kuzma was the subject of a Q&A for HoopsHype by Alex Kennedy in which he discusses life as a rookie, what it’s like playing for the Lakers and the team’s future.
“I’m shooting the three-ball a lot better than I did in college, which has really opened up my entire game,” Kuzma said. “When I’m shooting well, it makes it easier to drive and attack the rim against close-outs and things like (that). I think my three-ball falling has really been the main thing that has helped me [in the NBA].”
Former Utah Runnin’ Utes Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl continue to play well off the bench for the Toronto Raptors, who entered Tuesday’s games with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
On Monday in a blowout win over the Detroit Pistons, both scored eight points and connected on this pretty play in the fourth quarter.
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Published at Tue, 27 Feb 2018 15:45:00 +0000